Big Weather's Big Recipe: Elaina Athans' Cacio E Pepe

Our tour through the kitchens of ABC11 continues. This week, we head to Elaina Athan's house to make an old Roman dish called Cacio E Pepe, or cheese and pepper.

For as simple as this recipe is, it blew me away how good it was. Elaina comes from a restaurant family and talks about it in the video. Let's get to it!


1 T of Salt
1/2 Box of Spaghetti (use the noodles with rough edges if you can)
3/4 stick of butter
1 T of coarse cracked pepper
1 Cup of grated Parmesan and Romano Cheese


1. Boil a pot of water and add salt

2. Cook Pasta according to instructions on the box, until 3 minutes shy of 'done'
3. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta and spray with cold water to stop cooking
4. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Do not let it brown or burn.
5. Add the pepper to butter as it's melting, and heat until you hear the pepper start to pop
6. Slowly add the reserved pasta water to the butter, careful not to splash
7. Add the noodles to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly

8. Add the cheese over medium-low heat and continue to stir
9. Pasta is ready when the cheese starts to get 'stringy'
10. Pro-tip - Watch how she spins it as she puts in the plate. It's not in the video, but she adds a little fresh pepper and a little more parm to make it a feast for the eyes.

This was amazing and you can change it up SO easily. Want some protein? Throw in some grilled chicken or steamed shrimp with the parmesan. Need Gluten-Free, they make that pasta so sub it out. You could even throw a little parsley on it right before serving to 'green' it up a bit. It was so simple, maybe that's why it surprised me so much. Thank you Elaina for a great recipe!

Also, if you have a great recipe that you want me to try, send me an email and I may feature it in this Big Recipe segment. Email Don.

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